For small and medium-sized businesses, showing your e-learning program's ROI through actual cost savings and business impact is crucial in order to secure executive support for continued investments in learning, but measuring real cost savings or productivity increases can be challenging.
Is measuring the ROI of your e-learning program even worth the effort? In a world where, especially for SMB, where every dollar counts. So what data should you be looking to capture? We'll give you a hint: it's more than just dollars saved.
In the early stages of e-learning adoption, many small and medium businesses simply focus on cost savings. They compare the cost of delivering e-learning to other forms of learning like internally-led classroom sessions, external workshops or tuition reimbursement. In addition to training costs, factor in the costs of travel, hotels and meals.However, time away from the job should be another consideration. Recouping travel time in the form of billable hours can have a powerful impact.
To move beyond simple cost savings, you must carefully examine the type of training being delivered and how it aligns with business goals. What skills are you developing? How will that increased skill level impact job performance, efficiency and productivity? What value does that job have in the context of the company's overall mission?
Small businesses with an established system of job roles and competencies find it easier to measure the positive impact of training a single employee. In some cases, such as compliance training, learning's value may stem from cost-avoidance (reduced legal costs, downtime and accidents).
When HR and training professionals understand business objectives they can develop learning programs that align with business outcomes and produce tangible results. When SMB learning professionals take the time to set up these programs so they're measurable from the onset, they can clearly demonstrate the ROI on training expenditures. ROI analysis can also encourage higher levels of managerial support throughout the organization, creating a stronger partnership between HR/Training and business stakeholders.
What's more, such data shows your value to the organization: it proves you understand key business needs and the importance of driving business results in a small or medium business environment.
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